Sydney, Dec 1 (IANS) Big Bash League (BBL) Franchise Sydney Sixers have signed prodigious Afghanistan leg-spinner Izharulhaq Naveed after England’s Rehan Ahmed withdrew from the tournament following selection in both white-ball formats for the tour of West Indies.
Although Naveed was an unexpected pick by the Sixers in the first-ever BBL draft last year, he went on to take nine wickets in nine games at an economy rate of 7.37, impressing the team enough to be at the top of their list when they were searching for a replacement.
Sixers head coach Greg Shipperd said Naveed brought a point of difference to the Sixers’ spin stocks alongside veteran tweaker Steve O’Keefe, Test off-spinner Todd Murphy and rising all-rounder Joel Davies.
“We are not going to get to see Rehan Ahmed this season but we wish him well, and at the same time welcome Naveed back to the club,” Shipperd said.
“We are fortunate to have been able to bring back a player of Naveed’s talent and we know he will fit in with our group.
“Our spinning group is building nicely with SOK (O’Keefe), Todd (Murphy), and young Joel Davies, whose left arm offers complement his strong batting and fielding.”
Smith and the Sixers batters are set to square off against World Cup-winning star Adam Zampa in a mouth-watering clash to start their season.
A few of the English players exit the BBL, Rehan and Harry Brook follow suit. Since he was added to the West Indies tour’s ODI leg, which concludes on December 10, Zak Crawley, who recently signed with the Perth Scorchers, will also arrive later than expected.
Meanwhile, Davies is now in India with the Australia T20I squad. He will serve as a net bowler over the last few days of the trip even though he is not a formal member of the team.
Further announced foreign signings for the BBL are all-arounder Liam Dawson joining Melbourne Stars for the first three games of the captain’s campaign and England left-armer David Payne joining Adelaide Strikes to replace Rashid Khan.